Life Is More Than A Bumper Sticker ~ Late Afternoon Thoughts

On a site I follow daily, they posted about depression as living in the past. There’s a tremendous truth to that…However, those of us living with depression for any length of time also know “the mind is a dangerous place to wander in, unaccompanied – especially at night.” And that depression is more than a bumper sticker.

Over these last few years – you’re welcome to read about it in other posts – I’ve also discovered there’s a huge difference between the “dark night of the soul” and a “dark night”. Tuesday was one of those “nights”.

Duane Townsend (.com)

Duane Townsend (.com)


It’s a feeling of things not being quite right, of emotions that want to come to the forefront for no apparent reason. It’s a soft feeling of dread. A feeling of loneliness that may or may not have roots in reality.

It’s a terrible feeling when you that in your mind there’s no one to call … which is vastly different from the feeling there’s no one who cares

Sometimes, I set the timer and just “let it all hang out”,~ however,  sometimes – such as tonight – it’s more important to do a version of what AA calls fearless moral inventory. I do what I call a version of that because when I’m doing this inventory, I must sit quietly and track back where this is all coming from.


You see for those of us with severe depression, there is no “It will suddenly get better”, “snap out of it, quit being selfish”, “fake it ’till you make it” or “Pray and all will go away as if it had never been”. If such things had worked for me, there wouldn’t be the gash scar on my forehead or the long scar on my neck from the exploratory surgery to see if I’d damaged something after I’d tried to commit suicide.

And I've actually had a couple of these tossed my way ...

And I’ve actually had a couple of these tossed my way …

For those of us with severe depression, it’s a life-long job. And 99% of the time, it’s a job that’s actually quite easy…it’s that 1% which gets really, really difficult and makes even doing the simplest tasks a major undertaking.

And here’s the other “rub” … sometimes when we are going through these “dark night(s)” … it’s highly possible no one will know. We’re awfully good at hiding. There are those we can’t hide from – ourselves and our [don’t judge my term here – there’s a reason for it] higher power, and eventually, one of the two (if not both) will get our attention …

When I was at CRU, they gave us a tool called F.L.A.S.H to instantly check our feelings (which as you know, feelings are neither right NOR wrong – they just are.). F-fearful, L-lethargic, A- angry, S- sad. (not just “down” but sad) and last H-happy. Of course, being the sane adults we all were, we laughed quietly at such a childish idea. Childish until you realize that given the letter – you then must try to identify why. Not necessarily solve it, but identify it ….. Ah, not so childish or easy now, is it ….
So, after – OK, the truth – two days of F,S,S,F,A (FSSFA sounds like a bill from a drunk congressional committee) I can say I’m firmly in the H camp.

This isn’t a call for pats on the back … but rather part of my ongoing attempt to be honest and transparent with others …

We will now resume your regularly scheduled broadcast. 

An Elegant Time-Waster ~ Early Afternoon Thoughts

Let us leave the world of children’s toys in space .. (AKA “Kid’s Toys In Space”) and enter another time-waster. This is titled Snake Squad.  It’s an interesting combination of several game themes but just like Mario – remember to “gather” the money!!  It’s totally controlled by your mouse …

Failure to remember to “collect” the money will result in a fairly low score ..,..

As always, I’m not responsible for time wasted, broken keyboards, or smashed objects (in frustration) .. ENJOY!!!!

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night ~

My absolute favorite contest has just announced their 2012 winners!!!

That’s right, this years crop of entries to The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (Where “WWW” means “Wretched Writers Welcome” ) have been judged and found appropriately wanting.

For those who may not know, Bulwer-Lytton produced the lines:

“it was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness” as well as the infamous “unwashed masses”.

To say that his novels were turgid and overwritten would be an understatement.

Every year authors submit their worst possible (possibly) opening paragraphs – and winners in various categories are chosen.

Here are two of my favorites from this years crop:

“Professor Lemieux had anticipated that his latest paper would be received with skepticism within the small, fractious circle of professional cosmologists, few of whom were prepared to accept his hypothesis that our universe had been created in a marijuana-induced industrial accident by insectoid aliens; nevertheless, he was stung when Hawking airily dismissed it as the Bug Bong Theory. — Alan Follett, Hercules, CA”

Closely followed by:
“They still talk about that fateful afternoon in Abilene, when Dancing Dan DuPre moonwalked through the doors of Fat Suzy’s saloon, made a passable reverse-turn, pirouetted twice followed by a double box-step, somersaulted onto the bar, drew his twin silver-plated Colt-45s and put twelve bullets through the eyes of the McLuskey sextuplets, on account of them varmints burning down his ranch and lynching his prize steer. — Ted Downes, Cardiff, U.K.”
To read all the winners past and present (and perhaps enter yourself) – here’s the link

A Slight Pause ~

I had intended to continue the ramble today about “How We Got Here ~” but yesterday and today a number of items literally ran over me, and I’ve been rethinking where this ramble is headed.  I’m still with the same premise, there’s just a few more additions to the supporting cast of characters I want to deal with …

I’m assuming this picture came from …

The Cowardly Closet ~ Late Night Thoughts

In all honesty, I have been following the hypocrisy on both sides of the Imus affair,and had actually started a fairly lengthy essay on my thoughts. I took a break and started reading blogs that I follow each day, when I read today’s post at A Spider’s Web in Thornton Park.

I felt as if I had been hit in the stomach with a fist. My sadness gave way to anger and then back to sadness. Spiders blog has been an incredible light in my world. He’s just gone through heart surgery, is facing treatment (possible surgery) for cancerous tumors – and now this. All caused by anonymous scum that don’t have the guts or “cojones” to come out their own closet to say or do what abhorrent things.

Yes, I deliberately used the phrase “out of the closet.” To me, these people that hide behind anonymity are closeted bigots that would probably be completely comfortable hiding behind white sheets and pointed hats – or wearing green shirts with a swastika on the sleeve.

I have re-printed his entire post. Be sure to read it completely – then my statements at the beginning will make sense.

From A Spider’s Web In Thornton Park

I had written the first part of this blog on Tuesday Night…

I just got back from a wonderful dinner with some friends tonight and my phone rang. It had been ringing all night long at dinner – but I didn’t answer it because it kept coming up Private Number and I didn’t want to take a call from an unknown person at dinner. So it rang again when I got home. I answered it and no one spoke on the other end… just sounded like a car radio on the line so I hung up. A couple of minutes later it rang again… and this voice said “Brett”… Has the cancer killed you yet? I said “No” and they said, “Damn it God – let the cancer kill him – let the cancer kill him” and they hung up.

Now, I can only assume that this is an individual who read my blog and I KNOW it is not any of my readers – I can only assume that it is the same person who was harassing me last year over my letters to Patty Sheehan. Only my blog buddies and my closest friends know about my illness – so it must be someone who reads or has read my blog.

So, gentle phone caller – sorry to disappoint you, but you did not upset me. I am not a basket case nor am I bothered. Actually, I just feel sorry for you… that something is making you do things like this. Calling me, telling my employer about me, none of that will make me die. I am too strong, too mean and too stubborn to die just because you want me to. Nope, sorry – someone greater than both of us will make that decision.

By the way… have a nice day and just remember – karma is a real bitch…

Then on Wednesday, I get this comment on an old post…
Um, yeah, hi, this is Death. I’m still gunning for Spider. I think the cancer will get him.

Death said this on April 11th, 2007 at 4:40 pm (edit)
Well… it is now Friday and I hate to say it but the gentle caller has won. He found some things on the internet that were totally personal and done on my own time. Long story short, I was terminated from work today because of a personal ad he forwarded to the CEO of my company, the VP of my division, the Chairman of the Board – my VP found it to be “disgusting, immoral, vile and made him sick to his stomach” – so since I could not be terminated for something that was done on my own time from my own home, I was terminated for sending personal e-mails to several friends and my parents from work.

So gentle reader, you win. I surrender; you have what you have wanted since July… I hope you are happy, I hope you sleep well tonight, I hope that you can look at yourself in the mirror in the morning.

I have also decided to put an end to A Spider’s Web in Thornton Park. I have enough going on in my life without having to deal with without having to deal with the nut cases out there on the net. A lot of the information general reader found out had to come from my blog… and I am just tired of thinking 3 times before I post something something. The loss is just too great…

I love you all, I thank you for everything – especially the love you showed me the past month… I will be around – I am sure that Tony and Sorted will keep you posted on my ongoing treatment.

It’s been real, it’s been fun – and it HAS been real fun! I am just sorry it has to end this way at this time – this may be closing the barn door after the cow ran away… but given the past month, I need to focus elsewhere – and not be looking over my shoulder.

I am really going to miss you all – each and every one of you.

And gentle reader, now that you have gotten what you want, maybe you will have the guts to tell me who you are…

~ by Spider on April 13, 2007.

Fear has its use but cowardice has none.
—Mahatma Gandhi

Cowards can never be moral.
—Mahatma Gandhi

The coward threatens when he is safe.
—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Only cowards insult dying majesty.

Dear Spider ~ You have no idea how much I will miss you!!!

True Happiness

Generally, I don’t post verbatim what another post has said. So much uncredited “ripping” from other blogs that goes on…

This came from “A Flat With A View,” a blog that I follow daily. This article was so wonderful, powerful and true, that I asked if I could post it in it’s entirety. I have created a link to the original post, so you can leave comments there if you would like.

I hardly share my feelings with people not even my close friends. I feel that every one has their own daily “crosses to bear” and it not fair for me to burden them with my sobbing stories and feelings. Besides, I try as hard as I could not to fall into the tempting traps of whining and self-pity because they are toxic and emotional draining.

Yet, once in awhile, my mutual friends somehow sense my emotions (without me telling them) and shower me with random acts of kindness. Naturally, I am deeply touched by their generous gestures.

For example, I was feeling a little low last night and suddenly a friend sent me a text to offer me some words of encouragement. The text message is about true happiness and after reading it, I felt propped up. I just want to share it here and hope it will prop you all up as well:-

Happiness is not something
That someone else,
Like a lover can give us.
We have to achieve it ourselves.
And the only way to do is
By developing our character and capacity as human beings
By fully maximizing our potential.
If we sacrifice our growth and talent for love,
We absolutely will not find happiness.
True happiness is obtained through fully realising our potential.

link to original post

(and let me add:)
As we reach within ourselves, we will find what truly makes us happy and content. As we reach within ourselves, we will find the capacity to reach out to others, and in the process help them to reach what they can be.